By the time you read this, you will know what we at Cannabis Culture don’t know right now ? who is the newly-elected governor of California?
In 2002, Californians re-elected Governor Gray Davis, a right-wing Democrat owned by prison industry unions and no friend of the state’s powerful medical marijuana lobby or its commercial recreational marijuana industry.
Davis got ambushed by Bush administration allies in the energy industry, who bankrupted California by overcharging it for electricity; this led voters to go for a recall that could unseat Davis and install one of dozens of challengers on October 7.
The challengers include movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who smoked pot on camera in his 1977 film Pumping Iron, and who has since expressed his support for medical marijuana.
In a 1977 interview with French magazine Oui, Schwarzenegger said he enjoyed using “grass and hash,” and also described participating in a “gang-bang” with a girl who was a fan of bodybuilders.
Pumping Iron also reveals some of Schwarzenegger’s early political aspirations. “I was always dreaming about very powerful people,” he says. “Dictators, people like Jesus, being remembered for thousands of years.”
When Pumping Iron was re-released in 2002, Schwarzenegger encouraged the director to re-release it unedited, including the joint-smoking scene.
“I would refuse to wipe out that record or change it or alter it because of image’s sake,” Schwarzenegger told the media. “That would not be true to the filmmaker.”
“I did smoke a joint and I did inhale,” he added, taking a poke at President Clinton’s famous statement. “The bottom line is that’s what it was in the 70’s, that’s what I did. I have never touched it since.”
Another would-be governor is Arianna Huffington, a syndicated columnist and author, who says the drug war is fascism.
Pro-marijuana candidates for governor include BE Smith, a Northern Californian who served two years in federal prison for growing pot, and attorney Bruce Margolin, a long-time friend of marijuana defendants, whose platform includes legalizing and taxing Cali’s pot industry.
Californians could also vote for Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, two female porn stars, some gun lovers, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, and a former police officer whose platform seeks to legalize ferrets.
As we go to press in September, pollsters are predicting that Davis will lose the governorship, but it is unclear who will replace him. Front-runners are Arnold, Arianna, and Cruz.
Marijuana industry observers say that if any of those three end up as governor, it will probably be better for the marijuana industry than if Davis remains in office, although they note that Bustamante, like Davis, is also in the pocket of prison guard’s unions.